By Kathy Chouteau
A memorial service for Richard P. Perez III—familiarly known as Pedie Perez—will be held Sat., Sept. 16 at 6 p.m. in Richmond to mark the ninth anniversary of his police-involved shooting in the city.
The memorial, taking place at 3322 Cutting Blvd. in Richmond, will bring together members of the Perez family with local police, City officials and Richmond community members to “honor a life cut short [and] to support our advocacy for police accountability and reduced deadly encounters,” according to a family statement.
The Perez family also intends for Pedie’s memorial—occurring at the scene of his shooting—to serve as a call for continuous reforms and a space for communal healing and reconciliation.
Pedie Perez, age 24, was killed in an officer involved shooting at a liquor store/deli in Richmond in 2014. Later, in a 7-1 vote, Richmond’s Citizen Police Review Commission sustained a complaint that excessive and unreasonable force was used against Perez, per KTVU.
Among those honoring Perez at the memorial will be Richmond Mayor Eduardo Martinez, Richmond Police Chief Bisa French, Richmond Police Officers Association President Ben Theriault, Shawn Dunning, Reimagine Richmond Taskforce members, Richmond’s Community Police Review Commission and other community members, per the Perez family.
Since Pedie’s death, the Perez family has advocated for meaningful changes in policing throughout the state, helping enact laws—alongside other victims’ families—including SB 1421 “Peace Officers: Release of Records,” AB 392 “California Act to Save Lives” and SB 2 “Police Decertification Act.,” according to the statement. The family said it has also helped establish Richmond’s Ordinance No. 29-20 N.S. to foster increased accountability and promote transparency within the City of Richmond.
A potential Richmond art project memorializing Pedie has bolstered his family: Two city-owned concrete trash cans that would be artistically decorated with Pedie’s name and likeness by artists John Toki and Jon Sances, along with volunteers, and placed at 3322 Cutting Blvd. The project is currently pending recommendation by Richmond’s Arts and Culture Commission and the Recreation and Parks Commission to the City Council for approval, per the statement.
The Perez family indicated that they believe the diverse gathering for Pedie’s memorial reflects the community’s cohesion and collective commitment to establishing an accountable and highly respectable police force within the City of Richmond.